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Untamed Beauty: Tigers in Japanese Art

December 18, 2007 – March 16, 2008

Organized by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, this exhibition draws upon the collection of Harriet and Edson Spencer to examine how Japanese artists have portrayed one of the most awe-inspiring creatures of the animal kingdom, the tiger. While tigers were not native to Japan, the Japanese knew of them through reports, portrayals in art and hides brought from nearby China and Korea where the big cats did live and where they had acquired religious and cosmological significance that was passed onto Japan. Many important artists of the Edo Period (1600 – 1868) painted tigers, although none had ever seen one. Those represented in Untamed Beauty include Sotatsu Tawaraya, Tsunenobu Kano, Kien Yanagisawa, Okyo Maruyama, Ganku Kishi, Rosetsu Nagasawa and more.

Nearly twenty paintings mounted as hanging scrolls and folding screens make up the exhibition, funded in part by the Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation. Additional funding is from the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Arts Council.